Texas Independence Day is on the horizon March 2, and we’re planning to rejoice by recognizing Texas’ renewable energy leadership.
The Lone Star State is well-known for a number of things, including bluebonnets, blazing hot summers, Tex Mex and iced tea. But did you know Texas is no. 1 in the nation for wind-generated power and jobs?
If you’ve ever made a road trip across the state, you’ve probably seen the giant turbines along the horizons of West Texas.
Wind power has been used for thousands of years and has been used to generate electricity in America since the 1800s.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, the state has 14,098 MW of installed wind capacity from 8,591 wind turbines, with another 7,595 MW under construction!
It takes a number of components to build and maintain wind farms. This includes the land that the wind turbine stands on, as well as blades, towers, turbine nacelle assembly facilities and raw component suppliers, such as fiberglass and steel.
The U.S. has more than 500 manufacturing facilities producing these products across 39 states! This industry helped create the need for nearly 1,800 non-hydro renewable electricity generation jobs between January 2011 and January 2014, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What’s more, the number of Texans working in solar increased to 6,965 people in 2014, up 2,829 from the previous year.
Curious about how wind energy works? Watch this short video: Renewable Energy 101
UPDATE, July 2018: Elbow Creek Wind Farm is closing down operations.